John Malone's Economic, Regulatory Concerns

John Malone
John Malone

Liberty Media Group Chairman John Malone is "quite concerned" about a lot of things ... even here in Sun Valley, where he and other media bigwigs are hobnobbing at the Allen & Co. confab.

What worries him?

The Economy: Nothing he sees changes the economic picture. And recent government moves offer little hope. Not even President Obama's plan to double exports within five years. "He makes great speeches," Malone remarked, and if they can actually achieve that export growth "it'll be a great partial solution to the current jobs dilemma."

Debt: The government and the nation as a whole is living beyond its means. He says the nation needs to shift and start thinking long-term about the nation's solvency and competitiveness: Less focus on incremental debt and more attention to what level of entitlements the nation can afford.

The American Consumer: He sees no catalysts for substantial short-term retail growth, especially since he expects unemployment to remain "stubbornly high" for quite a long time. (Of course, today's retail numbersseem to belie Malone's dour sentiment.)

Any silver linings? Not in America. Malone, like many of the executives we've talked to here, sees most of Liberty's growth coming from overseas, Latin America and Asia in particular.

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